Introducing 23 wk hens to 14 wk hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CrimsonTide248, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. CrimsonTide248

    CrimsonTide248 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2008
    Bay Minette
    We are new to raising chicks. We have learned alot from this site - Thanks

    We have 23 week old EE that we are trying to introduce to our 14 week old hens (2 naked necks, 2 buff orpingtons, 2 black australorps) Any suggestions on introducing the hens. The younger hens chase and peck the new hens - We believe this is because this is their territory. We want to do what is best for all of our chicks to make the introduction easy on all. Right now we have them separated but they can see each other.
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    At 14 weeks your girls might look like small adults, but they're not yet ready to go in with the 23 week olds. The younger ones still should be eating chick feed, at least until 18 weeks. The extra calcium in the layer feed the older ones should be eating could be too much for their still developing systems.

    But this is a good time to start to accustom them to each other. They can be penned next to each other, or fence off a part of the main pen, so they can become familiar with each other without getting pecked.

    You can also host "meet & eats" where you let them out together while tossing out some treats they all can eat together. Spread it out far enough that they're not all on top of each other fighting over the treat, but close enough that they can be enjoying the experience together.

    You can expect some pecking & fussing as you meld your two little flocks, they need to work out their new pecking order. As long as no one's getting bloodied or beaten, you can allow their milder forms of poultry politics to go on uninterrupted.

    -But wait!- I just re-read your post. Is it 23 1-week-old EE chicks you're trying to add to your 6 14-week-old pullets (young hens)? If so, I think that's too big of an age gap to be together at this time. Those baby chicks are still too little to be in with anyone that much older. And by the time they feather up & get some bulk to them, the older ones will be ready to graduate to layer ration.

    You should just keep them penned separately but in close proximity, and as the little ones grow you can host the get-togethers for them. Then when they're 18 weeks you can finally put them all together.
     
  3. CrimsonTide248

    CrimsonTide248 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2008
    Bay Minette
    We actually have 4 EE's that are 23 weeks old. What is odd is that the younger ones are the ones that are bullying the older ones. It's gotten pretty bad with how bad they treat them. They will not allow them out of the coup. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  4. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Seems like an order is being set in motion. Like Sunny_side said, I wouldn't worry too much long as there isn't blood.

    If you have to move the new one's out of the coop yourself, you'll make it clear you allowed them there. Still going to take time


    I introduced two 8 week olds to a 28 week old and she went into mothering mode for a week right off the bat. Not a peck or nothing, just right under the wing.

    I am currently trying to introduce two 20 week olds to the flock and I have to keep them seperated in a contained space. I have my old flock in a tractor coop with run set up right next to the temporary box/pen set up with the new ones. They have to see each other all the time, and they basically graze right next to each other. Soon I hope to introduce them up close inside the run. (Everyone is on limits free range time though since I think the new ones will take off right now, haven't adjusted to where home is to come back yet.)

    I think keeping them seperated but in the line of site will make a difference. I think they are young enough still it shouldn't take long or get too bloody!

    BTW, WELCOME
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  5. CrimsonTide248

    CrimsonTide248 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2008
    Bay Minette
    We just finished a supervised free range session with both sets of birds. Everything went OK, except for our 2 Naked Necks and our runt Black Australorp. The NN's are horrible bullies to the new birds. The Buff Orpingtons are such docile birds, and haven't been a problem with them. I feel sorry for the new birds because the NN's keep them trapped in the coop.
     

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